I consider my passions to be mathematics, cooking, and travel. I have yet to find a hobby that offers the best of all three worlds. Having spent the last week aboard Holland America’s Eurodam, however, the culinary experience stands foremost in my mind. Two out of three isn’t bad.
Cooking on Display
On our initial tour around the ship, the Culinary Arts center caught my eye. The setup rivals any cooking show on cable and the programs promised not to disappoint. They had classes focused on delicacies such as Le Cirque Lobster Salad and Holland America’s signature cinnamon rolls. Classes offer a take-home recipe card so you can recreate these ship wonders after you’ve returned home. Club HAL also offered kids cooking classes during sea days. The space is busy night and day as comedy and magic shows, trivia games (including Foodie Fight: Culinary Trivia), and even bingo keep the space hoppin’.
Lido & Rembrant Restaurants
After seeing the Culinary Arts center, my expectations for the food on board were high, and never once was I disappointed. The salads on the lido deck were savory and complex featuring wheatberry, quinoa, and a delicious roast beef salad. There were rotating entrees at every meal and a new selection of sushi during every lunch – my personal favorite. The main dining room, Rembrant, offers plated service at all three meals and dinner is sure to entice your taste buds with traditional favorites such as surf and turf and creative options like my favorite jalapeno-spiked melon and cucumber gazpacho; it was sweet, cool and packed a punch. Guests can choose from Dine Anytime, Early or Late seating.
There are three specialty restaurants onbroard, one of which is offered without a charge.
My personal favorite was Tamarind, witha nominal charge of $15 per person. They met our parties’ special dietary restrictions with ease, and the food was nothing short off phenomenal. For your third course, Tamarind offers a heaping platter of Chef’s Choice sashimi and sushi that is fresh and delicious. The firey lamb dish was a table favorite and there isn’t a dessert worth skipping. I recommend ginger bread pudding with tempura bananas and rich caramel and anyone with a curious palette MUST try the wasabi sorbet; it’s surprisingly delicious.
Pinnacle Grill is set up to offer diners a night at New York City’s famous Le Cirque for a $20 surcharge. The menu, linens, and tableware are all Le Cirque original designs. Another option is Canaletto, which is segregated from the lido restaurant at dinner time to offer a taste if italy with plated service (and without a surcharge!)
Lastly, I must mention the excellent job Holland America does at providing daily tea time. Each afternoon, you can enjoy a unique tea ceremony- chose from Royal Tea Ceremony, Danish Tea, Traditional Indonesian Tea Ceremony, and numerous others- in the beautiful Rembrandt dining room. Teas come with traditional accompaniments both sweet and savory. For those wondering, during the Indonesian Tea Ceremony the extras included sticky sweet rice and coconut balls and coconut pancakes.
Wine & Beverage Experiences
And since food and wine go hand in hand, I thought I would include a little bit about the different wine tastings and mixology classes onboard. It cost $35 per person, came with four glasses of wine, cheese and fruit, and a written description for your taking. The prices on board were unexpectedly competitive and the selection of wine and spirits, especially in the Pinnacle Bar was more than you might expect at sea.
My only disappointment was that there was not a great selection of food available after 10pm. I will caveat this by saying that most of the guests on board didn’t seem the type to be up past 10.For more information about booking your next culinary adventure on board the Eurodam, or any other ship with a knack for fine cuisine, contact Tahira Mammen at email@example.com or browse itineraries for yourself at http://tmammen.cruiseholidays.com/